At the end of last year, ASUS added more than one million units sold by Zenfone Max Pro M1 in India. Now the popularity of the brand is jeopardized by the decision of the Delhi Supreme Court, which prevented ASUS from selling Zenfone smartphones and accessories.
It all began when the plaintiff, Telecare Network India Pvt Ltd, claimed to own the Zen and Zen Mobile trademarks. According to the company, the use of a similar name by a competitor is harmful. In India, Telecare mark phones – those that are not smart phones – as well as incoming phones and tablets.
The Delhi Supreme Court upheld the allegations and decided to stop ASUS from selling any product under the Zenfone trademark on July 23. In its decision, the court cited the fact that the Zen brand has sold mobile phones since 2008 and even closed its partnership with Amitab Bachchan in 2010, a Bollywood star. ASUS, on the other hand, just started selling Zenfones there in 2014.
Before the verdict, ASUS defended the statement that Zen is a generic term in Buddhist philosophy, but the court rejected a statement stating that although Zen is a general term, he can not directly connect with smartphones or tablets and therefore can be treated as generic in this case. Thus, Telecare Network India has the right to protect the trademark. In addition, as ASUS itself has called the Zenfone brand, it can not claim that the name is actually generic.
ASUS may appeal the verdict at the hearing on July 10. But if the company's lawyers fail to provide convincing evidence that the choice of the name Zenphon is not a breach, the company will have to comply with the court order and stop selling appliances in India – at least temporarily. In addition to smartphones and accessories, the court decision may also affect Zenbook's notebook line.
For now, ASUS may decide to sell its smartphones under a different brand or to continue to apply for the Supreme Court of India.
Source: XDA Developers